Digital PR And Online Reputation Management – How Are They Different

Lately, people have started mixing up Online Reputation Management (ORM) and Digital Public Relations (Digital PR). However, there is a difference. While one concentrates on building a better reputation through earned media, the other uses social media platforms to create a solid and positive digital reputation.

To be able to manage them effectively, one needs to first understand these terms in detail.

Here are a few key characteristics that set them apart.

Statement of Purpose:

ORM and Digital PR’s main objective is to improve your individual or organization’s reputation in the public’s eyes. What diverges these two tracks is their approach to achieve that goal. The way they communicate and convey their message distinguishes these two mediums.

An individual or organization’s online reputation can be traced by their search results, as search results are manifested from the global and aggregate trend on a specific topic. Is it crowded with positive remarks, or are people posting negative stuff about them? And considering how 93% of people don’t go past the first page of Google search results, it is paramount that you have control over the first ten links shown in the search results.

Online reputation managers try to ensure this by using social media platforms as a weapon and generating posts that leave a positive impact. They also indulge in increasing traffic on their client’s web page. This way, negative content is pushed back and made invisible.

Digital PR:

On the other hand, public relations personnel strive to improve their image through earned media. As companies and individuals cannot pay for earned media, it has the highest amount of credibility from your consumer and investor’s point of view. Hence, public relations personnel try to secure earned traditional and social media coverage while delivering positive information to the public. They try to influence the third-party observers (editors, journalists, radio jockeys, and all other hosts) to generate interest, promote goodwill and reinforce your brand image.


Whereas the approach of both PR and ORM is to influence the prospective audience, the way their audiences are grouped is what sets them apart.

ORM Audience:

The first place people go to check any bit of information is the internet. Hence, online reputation managers target the people who are searching on different search engines. Online reputation management’s main objective is to correct the balance of fake and misleading information on the internet with true and appreciative ones. This is achieved by posting accurate information and removing outdated, misleading, and untrue information.

Digital PR Audience:

The prominent people with whom public relations executives interact are media personnel. Hence, their target audience is the editors, journalists, radio jockeys, and all other kinds of hosts. These media validators provide a third-party perspective to your prospective customers and investors, which is vital as they strongly influence the public. So, it is vital to interact with them to improve its representation and image in the media.

Approaches and tactics:

As both these mediums work behind the scenes, it is hard to distinguish between their strategies. Here are some critical approaches that both these disciplines use.


Having a knack for search engine optimization (SEO), online reputation managers employ their wits to build up an organic and robust online presence, safeguarding against reputation attacks, and try to suppress negative results.

Digital PR:

Being proficient in public communication and building strong personal relationships, public relations personnel interact with media and influential people in person to gain visibility and promote authority. They are also well versed in handling damages caused by mitigations or negative press.


In the core of both these strategies, the goal is to improve an individual or organization’s reputation in the public’s eyes. It is extremely necessary to incorporate both ORM and Digital PR models as they govern their territory. If you create a good interpersonal relation but fail in communicating a good image on the social media platform, all your efforts will be futile, and the same goes vice versa.